The NIHL National Owners group met again last week and are collectively very pleased with the progress being made towards the return to competitive action in September. A number of key topics were reviewed and we’d like to give you a short update.

Competing Teams
All ten teams have confirmed their intent to participate in the league in 2021/22. As you...
26th of November 2019

GAME REPORT: Hull Pirates V's Bison Sunday 24th November 2019

Final Score: Hull Pirates 6 Trane Basingstoke Bison 4

Refs: Mr Hands and Mr Truswell
Lino's: Miss Andrews and Mr Smith

MoM Pirates: Kirk
MoM Bison: Mettam

Pirates Stats: Hewitt 3+1, Chamberlain 2+2, Bonner 1+1, Norris 0+3, Fabus 0+2, Chalmers 0+1, Towner 0+1, Wilcox 0+1.

Nets: Smith 37/4 (89.19%)

Bison Stats: Klejna 2+0, Wilson 1+0, Sampford 1+0, Harding 0+1, Jones 0+1, Kelly 0+1, Sutton 0+1, Tait 0+1.

Nets : Mettam 43/6 (86.05%)

PiMs : Pirates 36 Bison 14

SoG: Pirates 37 Bison 43

Following the frustrating, disappointing and very bad-tempered local derby loss to the Bees on Saturday evening, your Trane Basingstoke Bison made the gruelling trip up to Humberside to face the Hull Pirates.

The Pirates team, like the Bison have been subject to injuries to key players so far this season and that continued for this game. Richard Bordowski, George Norcliffe were both missing again and they were joined by Marek Malinsky tonight, but promising youngster Sam Talbot was added to the roster again.

Alex Mettam made a return between the pipes, replacing Dan Weller-Evans, whose recent winning streak and impressive game-winning displays unfortunately ended with the Bees defeat, and Ashley Smith started for the Pirates.

The puck dropped to start the game and it was the Pirates that had the first scoring chance, but Mettam made the save. Bison took an early penalty, when Ollie Stone was given a Hooking call (3.40), but it was killed successfully. Bison then started to put pressure on the Pirates net, with a couple of good chances, but Smith was equal to them. Continuing their good pressure, Bison drew the Pirates into a penalty, when James Chilcott fell foul to a Delay of Game minor, when he shot the puck over the plexi, whilst trying the clear the zone (9.22). But like the Bison, Hull killed the penalty and returned to full strength. Then came a major blow for the visitors, when they conceded not once, not twice, but THREE times in just 43 secs !!

Bobby Chamberlain opened the scoring when he pounced on a loose puck after a defensive break down and fired past Mettam (12.46), Hewitt and Chalmers getting the assists. Almost from the restart, Bison were given a delayed penalty on the play, but before they could touch the puck, Chamberlain had the puck behind Mettsy again, this time he fired in, off the underside of the bar. Wilcox and Norris with the helpers this time. Then just as the travelling Bison fans thought it couldn't get any worse, we were left shell-shocked, when Pirates Lee Bonner scored, after another loose puck due to a clumsy defensive mix up. Fabus and Towner assisting. This mini implosion prompted the Bison to use their 30sec Time Out.

Within a minute of the restart, Pirates Sam Towner was given a Slashing penalty (13.58), which was then doubled with a Roughing call, with a coming together after the whistle had blown. Bison's Adam Jones also given a Roughing call for his part in the incident.

A few seconds into the powerplay, Bison's chance was helped, when Hull's David Norris picked up a High Stick call, after he caught Michal Klejna in the face. This gave Bison 1.15 on a two-man advantage, which they didn't waste. Ryan Sutton picking out Klej at the back post and he fired past a hapless Smith to open Bison's account.

Sam Talbot was next to visit the sinbin, when he was awarded a Tripping call (17.27). On the powerplay, Hull passed the puck around quickly, but then Chamberlain got too close to Mettam in the crease and bumped him to the ice. A Goalie Interference call was forthcoming (18.35). This however wouldn't be the last time Alex was clattered into, but more of that later. Just before the period ended, Bison returned to full strength and had a few seconds of PP time. The buzzer sounded and at the first interval, Pirates led 3-1.

Shots on Goal were announced, with Smith facing only 10 shots, but apparently, Mettam faced a whopping 21 shots...!! Hmm, not convinced on that though.

The Bison started the 2nd period with 35 secs of PP time left and they almost took full advantage, when after a scramble in front of net, a Pirates player covered the puck in the goal crease and the ref awarded the Bison a Penalty Shot. Michal Klejna stepped up to take it. He skated in at speed, gave a little shimmy and fired the puck goalward, unfortunately Ashley Smith got a good piece of it and saved comfortably.

Like sometimes happens in sport, after you miss a chance, the opposition go down the other end and score. This would be no different. The Pirates had just returned to full strength and Chamberlain, combined with Norris to set up Pirates Player/Coach Jason Hewitt, who finished well (20.56). This wouldn’t deter the Bison though, as pretty much from the next play, Hallam Wilson lit the lamp, when he was on hand to slot the puck past Smith (21.31). Adam Harding assisting.

Immediately from the face-off, Bayley Harewood and Chamberlain clashed. Bayley picking up an Interference call and Chamberlain got a Cross Checking penalty (21.35). Both teams returned to full strength, but within seconds, Pirates were back in the box. Sam Towner with a High Stick call (23.38), but it was killed successfully.

Pirates extended their lead, when Jason Hewitt scored his second goal (28.49) assists going to Fabus and Bonner.

Bison would narrow the scoreline back to 2, when Michal Klejna got enough of his stick on a Josh Kelly shot from the point and the puck tricked over the line (37.26). But like before, when you get back into the game, the opposition go and score again. However, this would prove a very controversial goal...... Chamberlain and Norris both having shots saved by Mettam, before Hewitt followed up to fire home, but the goal had come off its moorings and even though it was down the far end from us we could clearly see the goal was off....... However, the ref adamantly pointed to the goal and it was given. This really upset the Bison bench and no matter how much Ash confronted the officials; they just wouldn't change their mind. Honestly, the standard of officiating has been brought up on a regular basis, regarding calls, etc etc.... but to miss the goal off its moorings is quite criminal.

We entered the last minute of the period and Hull would again pick up a late penalty. Chalmers with an Interference call (39.50).
At the end of the second period, the scoreline read .... Pirates 6 Bison 3. SoG read slightly different, with Mettam facing only 9 and Smith facing 15.

Like the previous one, Bison started the period on the PP. This time it was a healthy 1.50 of the man advantage. We only needed 14 seconds to score. Jones and Tait passing between themselves, trying to find a shooting lane. Finally, it came, and Ash took a slapshot from the point, which Alex Sampford got a good tip on and it flew past Smith to bring it back to a two-goal game again (40.14).

Bison would fall foul of the officials again soon after, when they were adjudged a Bench minor, for Too Many Men (41.17). It again brought protestations with the officials, but the penalty stood.

Halfway through the penalty, Bonner and Klejna got all tangled up, but it was mainly Bonner holding Klej's stick that caused this. However, the ref decided to call both players, with Klejna assessed a "Hooking" call and Bonner, correctly called for Holding the Stick (42.55). Both penalties were called as Co-Incidental, so they don't appear on the click.

Bison went back on the powerplay, when Peter Fabus was called for Clipping (44.53) and soon after, Steven Chalmers joined him in the box, when he levelled a Bison player against the boards. A 2+10 Boarding call was correctly called, and Bison returned to a two-man advantage. But no matter how hard we tried, we just couldn't get a goal and Pirates went back to full strength.

Alex Sampford was next to take a trip to the penalty box, with a Hooking call (48.25). The Bison PK unit killed the penalty successfully.

Earlier I had mentioned Alex Mettam getting bumped about. Hull's new import David Norris collided with Alex and as much as he complained, no penalty was forthcoming. However, the refs must've acknowledged their mistake though, because soon after when Chamberlain upended Mettsy again, he was called again for Goalie Interference (57.02).

We entered the final 2 minutes of the game and there was still enough time for another penalty. Kevin Phillips picking up a Tripping call (58.49). Hull returned to 4 skaters when Chamberlain's penalty expired, and the clock ran down on the Bison to salvage anything from the game.

Final Score : Pirates 6 Bison 4.

It was a disappointing weekend points wise, but I felt going down 3-0 in both games in the first, left us a huge hill to climb. But credit where credits due, although with a pretty banged up team, they never gave up and showed very spirited comebacks in both games, however coming up just short in the end. Can't fault the effort from the guys.

Alex Mettam picking up the MoM for Bison, whilst Jonathan Kirk was awarded theirs.

We only have a few days till our next game, with the Bison travelling to Swindon on Friday evening, before returning to home ice on Saturday, with London/Romford Raiders IHC the visitors. Looking forward to them already !!